Haven't Read It Yet...

power to the J

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2007
So, I've been hearing all of the hype about this book and I was wondering what it's similar to in style and plot. If it's about prophecies and stff I'll just pass on it. So, I go to the source. Thanks in advance.
Not many things it is similar to which is why I like it. It's not a light read and basically studies the psychology of the human condition within a fantasy backdrop. The storyline as far as a basic outline goes has a lot of standard fantasy elements in it BUT it really explores the suffering and ultimate cathartic/redemptive experience of the central character Thomas Covenant who is a leper transported to a magical world known as the Land. Lord Foul's Bane first came out in 1977 and I read it in the early '80s. Since then I've been hooked by this series.

You will find that Donaldson tends to polarise fans. You either hate this series or you love it, there's little in-between. Mainly because of the central character who has a fairly large chip on his shoulder and is tormented both physically and mentally. People either persevere and I believe are finally rewarded by the books OR they throw their hands up in despair and move on. It ranks in my top 5 fantasy series of all time.

Donaldson has written other stuff I can recommend like his Mirror duology, so maybe give Covenant a go and see.

So you know, the final chronicles of TC ae being written as I post. Books 1 & 2 are out now but the final Book 4 won't be out before 2012.
I always felt that, with Thomas Covenant, Donaldson promised much, but delivered little. The first and second trilogies could've been so much better.
Read the original 6 books many moons ago. Can understand why many people find the central figure frustrating but I guess this is the central issue in these books. A man crippled both figurately and literally in real life is given power but refuses to (or cannot) use it. I would certainly recomend reading it but don't expect the usual hero figure that this genre so often churns up.
I have read all the Thomas Covenant books and I must admit for the first couple of books I disliked Thomas Covenant. He is not like the usual heros and you dont know whether to love or hate him. I found these books do not make light reading and a lot of thinking is needed, but I would recomend them to anybody that enjoys a good thought provoking read:D
i'd recommend reading the Mirror duology first before going on to TC, just to get the swing of his style.
I read TFCTC many years ago. It blew me away, it was fantasy but with a real world human in it, a figure that could have stepped from a more "literary" genre.

Sure you want to smack him at times, but I loved some of the characters and situations. It's a much simpler fantasy superstructure (land, races, peoples, names), than LOTR, but the individuals are much more complex.

I much preferred the first chronicles over the second.
So, I've been hearing all of the hype about this book and I was wondering what it's similar to in style and plot. If it's about prophecies and stff I'll just pass on it. So, I go to the source. Thanks in advance.

Look, main character is a leper. That's a guaranty that the story is more inventive than 90% of other fantasy in the market.
I read the Chronicle of Thomas Covenant back in the 1980 and thought it was superb. I was hungry for more fantasy after reading Lord of the Rings and, back then, Donaldson's trilogy seemed the nearest thing available.

The tale is heavy in places and can be very dark, but this just makes it more compelling. Parts of the story are controversial and I think that readers react differently to it. Not all people are able to empathise with the central character and this inevitably detracts from their enjoyment. However others, while not necessarily condoning the moods and actions of Thomas Covenant, sympathise with his predicament. If you fall into the latter category then the First Chronicles may be one of the best fantasy books you ever read.

The Second Chronicles were a bit more tortuous and protracted in my view and so, while still a decent read, I didn't enjoy them as much. I haven't attempted the Last Chronicles.

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